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Smart StripThe Bits Limited Smart Strip

Foreword by Kevin: To power the MAMEframe I used a unique powerstrip I had found, called the @Power Strip, which monitored one of the outlets on the strip, and turned on the rest of the strip if power use was detected on that one outlet. This was great for a MAME cabinet, since you could turn the computer in the cabinet on, and the speakers, marquee, and other peripherals would all be turned on at the same time. Shut the computer down, and everything else shut down as well. It makes turning your MAME cabinet on and off a “one button” operation.

Unfortunately, the @Power Strip no longer seems to be available anywhere. However, Andrew Lattof contacted me with details of a new power strip that he discovered, the “Smart Strip” power strip, by Bits Limited. It looks to be even better than the @Power Strip.

The Smart Strip

Here's a blurb from the Bits Limited web site:

“A Smart Strip Power Strip is a power strip designed to save energy and to simplify switching your computer on and off. When you shut off your computer, the Smart Strip Power Strip completely shuts off all of your computer peripherals automatically.”

Close-up of Smart Strip

Andrew ordered one for his MAME cab, and here are his impressions of it:

It seems like an excellent product that does exactly what I wanted – power on a few (up to 5) peripherals after the PC is powered on and it will then shut them off after the PC is shut down. I plan on setting my motherboard up to power the PC on from a press of any key on a PS/2 keyboard (which would be where the IPAC comes in – so I should be able to power it on by hitting any button).

The customer service with Bits Ltd. was good – though I did have a few problems with ordering and shipping, but all was resolved with a partial credit to my card in apology.

Overall, if you’re looking for a power strip that will turn on/off peripheral devices (lights, speakers, etc) based on your PC’s power state then this is a great buy for about $35 with shipping included.

-Andrew
acey "at" usa.net


Thanks, Andrew, for the mini-review (and the photos), and for tracking down a great item for MAME cabinet builders! — Kevin

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